Ramirez to DL; Braun still sidelined

Some notes from a newsy Saturday afternoon at Miller Park:

– The lead item: An MRI scan confirmed a sprained knee for third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list and replaced on the active roster by Josh Prince, a former shortstop who converted to the outfield last season and was planning to spend this year adjusting to a super-utility role, a’la Jerry Hairston Jr. Two games into that project, he was promoted to the Majors.

Said Ramirez of the MRI result, “It could have been worse. But it’s basically the same injury I got in Spring Training. Last night, I didn’t feel good. There’s never a good time for injuries, but at least it’s not that serious.”

– The Brewers were also without three-hole hitter Ryan Braun, whose neck remained completely locked-up on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s not any better today than it was yesterday,” said Braun, who first felt stiffness during a Friday afternoon workout. “All I can do is wait.”

Assistant GM Gord Ash said the club was in wait-and-see mode with its best player.

“This is literally day-to-day,” Ash said. “It’s not the cliche day-to-day. It’s literally day-to-day. I know [head athletic trainer] Dan Wright called me this morning and said it didn’t look like he was going to be available today. Not enough improvement today, but they’ll continue to treat it. Worst case scenario — because I asked — is hopefully five days. Hopefully it’s not that.”

– With Braun and Ramirez out, and Corey Hart still recovering from knee surgery, the Brewers fielded what one fan on Twitter compared to a split-squad lineup in Spring Training. That might be a little harsh, but you can judge:

1. Norichika Aoki RF
2. Jean Segura SS
3. Rickie Weeks 2B
4. Alex Gonzalez 3B
5. Jonathan Lucroy C
6. Yuniesky Betancourt SS 1B
7. Carlos Gomez CF
8. Khris Davis LF
9. Mike Fiers RHP

– If you count Prince, the Brewers now have four shortstops on their 25-man roster: Betancourt, Gonzalez, Prince and Segura.

– Manager Ron Roenicke said he chose Betancourt at first base and Gonzalez at third after talking to both players Friday night. This is the alignment they seemed most comfortable with. Martin Maldonado will also play some first base in the coming days if Gonzalez spends the bulk of his time at third.

Roenicke conceded the Brewers are thin at first base and said the team was considering other options, including outside options. Hart is expected back in mid- or late-May and Mat Gamel is out for the season after ACL surgery. Ash said another first baseman, Taylor Green, could begin playing games in extended Spring Training by the end of the coming week. Green is on the DL with a hip injury. Prince’s versatility buys the team some time.

– GM Doug Melvin had the best line of what has surely been a long and trying day:

“I don’t know,” Melvin said when asked about the spate of injuries. “I got bit by a scorpion and didn’t miss a day.”

*

Follow me on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy

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